Battle for the last semi-final spots!

Round 12 of the Bealey’s Ale House CPL saw the battle for the last semi-final spots really heat up –Avon holding it for the time being on the women’s side of the draw and Southern United pulling clear of HSOB/Burnside on the men’s side.

The Southern United Stingers snatched up the fourth place position, albeit only on goal difference, following their 1-0 victory over Avon. The match started evenly, with both sides having early chances to score goals through penalty corners. Gareth Stewart stood strong at one end while Mitchell Carey’s drag flick attempt down the other was so wide it put the corner injector from his own side in grave danger. When the match looked certain to go to the break in a scoreless deadlock, the Stingers counter-attacked and Delane Traber got on the end of a ball across the face of goal to give his side the lead. The second half was a similar story, with Southern having opportunities to extend their lead while Avon also had chances to level the match up. Both defensive units held strong and the Stingers snatched the three competition points.

The Avon Eels have reclaimed fourth position in the women’s competition after their 4-1 win over Southern United. The Eels controlled the match from the outset and it seemed to be a case of when not if they would score. Libby Bird managed to find the back of the net twice, while newcomer Alice Coll also scored for Avon. Reliable as ever in front of goal, Kiri Brown scored Avon’s fourth. The Stars did managed to find the net once through Hannah Leckey but the Eels proved to be too good on the day. The Eels now turn to a huge fixture against Marist next weekend that is likely to determine whether or not they hold on to that final top four spot, while Southern continue to battle it out with Hornby for the spoon at the bottom of the ladder.

The Harewood men suffered another blemish in their near-perfect season, drawing 2-2 with giant killers Marist. Andrew Sherratt was looking dangerous for the Hunters before taking a ball to the face, ending his day’s work. Garren Fyfe was enjoying his return from a similar injury as he found the back of the net and stalwart Richard Bain also grabbed himself a pie before leaving the field due to fatigue. The first Marist goal came courtesy of Brownie Grimshaw who has found a knack for scoring goals recently. With the match seemingly locked up at 2-1, the Hunters gave away a soft penalty corner and the ever-reliable Broseph Bartholomew found a late equaliser. The Hunters had a chance to snatch the win with a corner on full time but it was well defended by Marist, and no amount of arguing with the ref could get them another chance.

The Harewood women got redemption for their men’s side sub-par performance and produced a comfortable 2-0 win over Marist. The win maintains their five point lead at the top of the table where they are still heavy favourites to lock up the Rose Bowl in a couple of weeks. Two goals and sound defence was enough for the Huntresses on the day to bag the three competition points, the goals coming from Jordy Grant and Libby Collins. Marist will now focus on next Saturday’s fixture against the Avon Eels, where three points could see them book a place in the semi-finals and make their playoff appearance for the team in their short CPL history.

The Carlton Redcliffs men got their season back on track with a convincing 4-1 victory over HSOB/Burnside. Youngster Nick Lidstone opened the scoring mid-way through the first half after finding himself free in the circle from a Goldsbury long ball. Ill-discipline from the boys in red saw them down to eight plyers in the final two minutes of the first half. Old Boys looked to take advantage of their extra players early on in the second half, but the Redcliffs defence held firm with an inspired performance from 73 year old Jon O’Haire in goal. With Redcliffs back to 11 a Trent Summers drag-flick and a Lachlan Miller field goal within two minutes blew the game open with 25 minutes remaining. Old Boys pulled one back courtesy of Angus McGregor and then threw caution to the wind removing their keeper with five minutes to go. They had all the running with multiple penalty corners and numerous attempts at goal but couldn’t find a way past the Redcliffs defence. Another yellow card, this time to HSOB and Tom Leov, saw their advantage disappear and with seconds remaining Tom Mouldey found himself open in the circle and made his first trap of the game earning a penalty stroke for his troubles and dispatching it high into the net to complete the scoring as the fulltime hooter sounded.

The HSOB/Burnside women put out arguably their best performance of the season, dismantling Carlton Redcliffs 4-1. Leading into the match the two sides were tied in second place on 17 points, five back from competition leaders Harewood. Rachel McCann made an immediate impact on her return to the Garden City, scoring the opening goal from a reverse stick strike early in the first half. Just before half time Cass Engler scored again for Old Boys and then McCann added her second. Sophie Cocks managed to get one back for Carlton Redcliffs making it 3-1 heading into the break. The second half consisted of end-to-end exciting hockey in which both teams had multiple opportunities to score. The HSOB defence stood strong and the hero of the day, McCann, scored her third to put the match beyond doubt.

The Hornby Vipers came agonisingly close to their first win of the season, only to eventually be narrowly pipped 4-3 by University. The match was full of action and drama as seven goals were traded between the two sides. Hamish McKechnie scored a double for the students and their two further goals, from schoolboy Ben Epton and Amon van der Berg, proved to be the difference in the end. Zin South, Ryan van Grinsven and Sam Fitzgerald bagged goals for the Vipers but all attempts for the elusive fourth came up empty. With playoff hopes now mathematically impossible the Vipers will stick with their goal of bagging their first three points of the year in their remaining three games of the regular season.

RESULTS – Round 12

University: 4 (Hamish McKechnie 2, Ben Epton, Amon van der Berg) Hornby: 3 (Zin South, Ryan van Grinsven, Sam Fitzgerald)
Southern United: 1 (Delane Traber) Avon: 0
Carlton Redcliffs: 4 (Nick Lidstone, Lachlan Miller, Tom Mouldey, Trent Summers) HSOB/Burnside: 1 (Angus McGregor)
Harewood: 2 (Garren Fyfe, Richard Bain) Marist: 2 (Ben Grimshaw, Joe Bartholomew)

HSOB/Burnside: 4 (Rachel McCann 3, Cass Engler) Carlton Redcliffs: 1 (Jacqui Moorfield)
Harewood: 2 (Jordy Grant, Libby Collings) Marist: 0
Avon: 4 (Libby Bird 2, Alice Coll, Kiri Brown) Southern United: 1 (Hannah Leckey)
Hornby: BYE

Women’s Top Goal Scorers
Women’s Points Table

Men’s Top Goal Scorers
Men’s Points Table